It’s almost a year since I closed down BlankPage, the writing service I ran for several years as a side project, and I think it’s finally time to start something new. Picking what to work on, has turned out to be a surprisingly hard problem.
When I started BlankPage is was just one of those excited moments when something life changing felt within reach, and I set about making it a reality immediately. This time I have more experience, and I know how important it is to work on things that are achievable.
That sounds a bit dark, but what I mean to say is that I have some idea of how much time, energy, and money I can spend on a project. So there’s no reason for me to pick a project that is far beyond those limitations in scope. I can’t build a new type of nuclear power plant by myself, with my savings. Understanding that and picking something a bit more viable is actually a freeing and exciting idea. Because it makes my next project so much more real, even in the idea stage.
Above “product-market fit” is “founder-product-market fit.”
— Naval (@naval) December 28, 2017
Derrick Reimer wrote about finding product founder fit a while back, and I like the idea of picking a project that suits you as the creator. That should increase the likelihood of success.
So which are my criteria?
These are my thoughts, off the top of my head while writing this post:
The project needs to be small enough that a single full stack dev can easily build it.
An MVP can’t take more than a few days to implement. Otherwise I won’t iterate fast enough.
The project cannot be production critical for the customers.
I simply cannot guarantee seven 9’s uptime.
The Project’s competitive advantage should be based on a clear understanding of the users needs and wants.
Not technology. It doesn’t have to be unique, it would be ok to just be different.
The Project should “give back” to the free and open web some how. The internet is important, and I think it’s up to all of us to strive to keep it open.
So whatever I build, it should take cues from the IndieWeb movement somehow.
The Project shouldn’t aim to become a “scale-up”.
If I end up taking on VC money, it will consume my life.
Alright, that’s enough for today I think. Back to work.